This recipe turned out SOOOOO good. We love a good spicy sesame chicken or General Tso chicken from the local Chinese restaurant. When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try making it myself. It was crispy, sweet, spicy, and just delicious! There wasn’t a bit of it left over! It will definitely be a regular at our house!
Make Your Own Take-Out General Tso Chicken
Recipe adapted from www.melskitchencafe.com
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup cornstarch
2 large eggs, beaten
1/3 c. Frank’s Buffalo Hot Sauce for Wings
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 c. frozen or fresh broccoli
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
While the oil is heating, cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Place the cornstarch in a gallon-sized ziploc bag. Put the chicken into the bag with the cornstarch and seal, tossing to coat the chicken.
Whisk the eggs together in a shallow pie plate. Dip the cornstarch-coated chicken pieces in the egg and place them carefully in a single layer in the hot skillet. Cook for 1-2 minutes and then flip each piece over to cook on the other side until nicely golden but not all the way cooked through. Place in a single layer in a 9X13-inch baking dish and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
Mix the sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl and pour over the chicken in the baking dish. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until cooked through, turning the chicken once or twice while cooking to coat evenly with sauce.
While the chicken is cooking, steam broccoli. Serve over hot, steamed brown rice.
Husband Rating: 8 out of 10
Food for Thought: By using the buffalo sauce, it takes a little of the heat down a notch for the chicken but it still had a good kick. It was a little hot for our three year old. I would recommend looking at the sweet and sour chicken recipe from the same blog. I made the same one that night and although I personally preferred the spicy chicken, the boys liked the sweet and sour and our whole family was happy. (You make the chicken basically the same way, just a different sauce you bake it with.)
I was shopping at Trader Joe’s and saw these HUGE whole chickens and was inspired to roast a chicken for dinner. When I say huge, I mean a 7 1/2 pound chicken… small turkey??? No, it really is a chicken but it does feel a bit like we are doing a Thanksgiving preview around here. Watching some football, the bird is in the oven, not a bad way to spend out Sunday.
Garlic Roasted Chicken
Recipe adapted from www.fortheloveofcooking.net
1 whole chicken
1 Tbsp. softened butter
2-3 tsp. minced garlic
1 small yellow onion, cut into wedges
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
olive oil cooking spray
salt/pepper, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Remove any giblets from the chicken and rinse chicken inside and out. Pat dry.
In a small bowl, combine butter and 2 -3 tsp. minced garlic (to your taste preferences). I go heavy on garlic because I love it! Loosen the skin around the chicken breasts and coat breasts with butter mixture.
Coat outside of the chicken with cooking spray and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.
Combine parsley, smashed garlic cloves, and onion and stuff inside bird cavity. Place the bird on a roasting rack on a roasting pan.
Bake chicken at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn heat down to 350 degrees and bake another 20 minutes per pound (so for me that was about 2 1/2 hours) or until the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone reads 165 degrees on a meat thermometer.
Remove from heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes covered in tin foil lightly tented over the bird to allow the juices to redistribute before cutting and serving.
Husband Rating: 5 out of 10
Food for Thought: If you plan to stuff your bird, add at least 15 minutes to your cooking time.
I need to start working on making fish more often. I just get kind of intimidated with buying good quality fish, cooking it in a way that turns out well, and not having it go to waste on my kids (who often don’t like fish).
Tonight though, my littlest one LOVED the fish eating his fillet, half of mine, and his brothers (who true to form refused all but his no-thank-you bite of fish). So, I guess I just need to buck up and make fish more often. It wasn’t hard to make and it turned out well.
Crispy Flounder with Roasted Tomatoes and Potato Leek Hash
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, May 2012
2 Tbsp. kalamata olives, chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes
salt/pepper, to taste
1/4 c. fresh basil, thinly sliced
1 c. panko
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. dried thyme
4 6-oz. skinless flounder fillets
salt/pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 package refrigerator shredded hash brown potatoes
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 tsp. thyme
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt/pepper to taste
In a large oven proof skillet, toss olives, olive oil, and cherry tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
In a shallow dish, combine panko, parsley, and thyme. Rinse and pat dry fish fillets. Generously coat each fillet with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper. Dredge fillets in panko mixture and set aside on a plate.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Add potatoes, leeks, 1 tsp. thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 12 minute or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Set aside when done.
When oven is heated, put tomatoes in oven and bake for 20 minutes.
While tomatoes are baking, heat oil to cook fish. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil at a time over medium-high heat. Add 2 fillets to pan and cook 3 minutes per side or until reaches desired doneness. Remove from pan onto a plate lined with a paper towel. Repeat with remaining fish.
When tomatoes are done, top with basil. Serve fish with hash and tomatoes. Yum!
Husband Rating: 5 out of 10
Food for Thought: The original recipe called for capers instead of kalamata olives. I think capers would also be delicious in this recipes and would like to try that next time too! I thought that having hash browns for dinner was a little odd but am willing to maybe give this meal another shot but with maybe doing the potatoes in another format. I guess I am a hashbrowns for breakfast kind of gal…
What was on the menu wasn’t really thrilling me today. So, I looked around my newly organized pantry and in my fridge and freezer and pulled together the following items and came up with a yummy dinner! And, the kids… they liked it! One love gnocchi and so he ate as much of that as I could keep on his plate. The other loved the sausage in the sauce and devoured that. In fact, they even resorted to swapping the parts of their meals with each other that they liked best. Works for me!
Creamy Tomato Basil Sauce with Sausage and Gnocchi
5 Italian sausage links (I used Trader Joes Spicy Italian Vino and Formaggio Chicken Sausage)
4 cloves garlic, minced, divided
4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
3 c. baby spinach
4 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp. dried basil
1 1/2 c. tomato basil sauce
1 pkg. multi-colored gnocchi
fresh grated parmesan cheese, for garnish
In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil and 2 minced garlic cloves. Remove sausage from casings and cook in oil. When sausage is cooked through, add spinach and cook until wilted. Add tomato basil sauce, dried basil, and cream cheese and reduce heat to low. Stir occationally to combine as cream cheese melts into the sauce.
In a seperate pan, bring water to a boil. Boil gnocchi for 2-3 minutes until they are floating on the surface of the water and are tender. Remove from water and set aside. In a large skillet, heat remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil and garlic cloves until fragrant. Place gnocchi in a single layer in the pan. Cook until it begins to get crisp on one side (about 3-4 minutes). Give the pan a good shake to rotate some of the gnocchi. Cook for another 2-4 minutes until gnocchi are crispy all around.
Serve gnocchi with sauce on top and garnish with fresh grated parmesan cheese.
Husband Rating: 6 out of 10 (My husband is a bit of a sauce snob – he likes white sauces to be white, red sauces to be red, but doesn’t like when the sauces are a bit in-between like tonight. So, I was pleasantly surprised with a six on a meal I didn’t really think he would like!) 🙂
Food for Thought: You could skip the crisping part of the gnocchi and serve it soft as well. I just personally like the texture of the crispy gnocchi in contrast to the sauce. If you are pinched for time or don’t want to dirty another pan, simply just boil the gnocchi and serve!
We had a bunch of pork tenderloins and so inspired by a meal I had recently had at a restaurant, I looked up pork tenderloins using maple bacon. This recipe is what I found and it was delish! I would say the pepper was a bit intense in the rub and I might cut back on it a bit next time. However, it was overall delicious, a great warm meal on a cool Fall day!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place rosemary sprigs and smashed garlic in the center of a roasting pan. Remove the plastic wrap from the tenderloins and top each with 3 slices of maple bacon.
Place the roasting pan in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes minutes or until thermometer inserted in tenderloin registers 160 degrees F. Remove from oven when desired doneness is reached and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Slice and serve.
Husband Rating: 8 out of 10
Today, I digress from my usually recipe posting to venture into another of my favorite past times – organizing! My kitchen has been driving me up the walls! It has been in need of a MAJOR overhaul!
When we moved into our house, my older son was three weeks old. I had just had a c-section and could lift minimally. I just basically shoved things into cupboards in order to have our boxes unpacked and cookware accessible. As time went on, many items found homes in different inconvienent spaces because I needed to keep them away from curious toddlers.
I finally hit the wall when I came home from Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago with several items I already had in my pantry but didn’t know about because there was no organization to it! I mean, really, does one need the empty box for their child’s nebulizer next to the apple peeler/corer/slicer next to the tomato soup in the pantry? Does that really make sense? Should my cake pans, dinner plates, measuring cups, and serving bowls all be shoved into the same cupboard? Why can’t I ever find any lids for my tupperware containers – is it because they are scattered in the deep recesses of the pantry shelf my tupperware lives on? My kitchen was driving me bananas!
Here are a few pictures of my sad pantry and spice cabinet… I didn’t snap pics of all our cupboards… just a few to expose my shove and shut the door method of organizing (with fingers crossed that nothing falls out the next time I open the door)! This obviously wasn’t working!
So, I arranged for the boys to be neatly tucked away at Grandma and Grandpa’s for the day, did a little shopping ahead of time at Bed, Bath, and Beyond to get some great kitchen organization tools, and did a little research on my new favorite blog obsession www.iheartorganizing.blogspot.com, and a few other websites for kitchen organization tips.
And, finally, today was the day for all the fun to begin!!! All the various websites I looked at suggested that in order to truly get yourself organized, you really need to start from scratch. Meaning, empty your cupboards completely and then reload in an organized manor. So that is exactly what I did.
Start by completely emptying the space you want to reorganize
Sort your items into categories – daily use, baking, food prep, etc.
Use clear bins to hold smaller like items such as nuts, grains, rice, etc. (and label your bins!!!)
Utilize hanging spaces such as hanging measuring spoons and cups on backs of cabinets